YouTube restored access to Reformed theologian John Piper’s audiobook Coronavirus and Christ on his Desiring God channel Monday after taking it down last week for “violating” the platform’s community standards.
The audiobook was uploaded to YouTube and DesiringGod.org on April 8 but was subsequently taken down from the video-sharing website on May 15 without any explanation except a notification saying the video was “removed for violating community guidelines.”
Even though it had been removed on Piper’s channel, the video was still available on the Crossway Podcast YouTube channel here and archived online.
YouTube released a statement on April 28 announcing that in response to COVID-19, it had expanded its “fact check information panels” to the United States by up-ranking, down-ranking and demonetizing certain videos that mention the topic.
On April 7, YouTube Chief Product Officer Neal Mohan told Axios that the Google-owned platform had already “removed thousands of COVID-19 videos … for violating policies …”
“YouTube’s policies [about the new coronavirus] are entirely focused on the content of a video and not who is doing the speaking,” Axios reported.
After being reinstated, Piper’s audiobook on the Desiring God YouTube channel jumped from over 187,000 views to more than 200,700 views as of Tuesday afternoon.
In the book, Piper, the chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and the founder of Desiring God, offers six biblical answers to the question: What is God doing through the coronavirus?
YouTube’s censorship of the audiobook followed a call by 22 military chaplains to “discipline” a senior army chaplain for sending nearly three-dozen other chaplains an email containing a copy of the e-book.
The 22 military chaplains, some of whom are from the LGBT community, had a problem with the book because it states that “some people will be infected with the coronavirus as a specific judgment from God because of their sinful attitudes and actions.”
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Melissa Barnhart